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by Adam Lynton
British carmaker is first to unveil new car for 2013 season.
With the unveiling of its new Renault-powered E21 racer, Lotus becomes the first F1 constructor to showcase its wares for the upcoming season. In line with minimal F1 technical regulation changes made for 2013, Lotus has kept the E21's shape strikingly similar to last year's E20 model that Kimi Raikkonen expertly drove to third place in the championship. Plenty of changes have made under the skin however, including revised front and rear suspension layouts for better aeros, with Lotus evolving both front and rear wing designs for improved downforce and maximum DRS switching potential.
In short, they have made a quicker, more efficient F1 car that will hopefully help the flying Fin to finish on a higher podium come season's end. The controversial "duck-bill" style noses teams adopted in 2012 can be smoothed out this year with a so-called "vanity panel," but most teams, including Lotus, will pass on the option as it's likely to add weight without providing a performance benefit. McLaren and Ferrari will soon be unveiling their 2013 F1 cars, while the rest of the F1 grid will follow suit prior to the season opener at the Australian Gran Prix on 17 March.